London Underground in popular culture

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The London Underground has long provided inspiration in various areas of popular culture.

Film and television[edit]

Filming is now managed all over the system but most commonly takes place at stations like Aldwych (a disused tube station), formerly on the Piccadilly line, or the non-operational Jubilee line complex in Charing Cross. The Waterloo and City Line has occasionally been used for filming as it is closed on Sundays.

The London Underground Film Office handles over 200 requests a month

Although not "filmed" as such on the Underground, there have been two animated children's television series set on and around it. The first was Tube Mice, a 1988 series concerning the adventures of a group of mice living on the Underground. The second was the 2006 series Underground Ernie, set on a fantasy version of the network and featuring a friendly Underground supervisor and his talking trains. There was also a 2004 animated short, also called Tube Mice, about mice who keep the Underground in order.

The Tube has also been used for many other major films including Bridget Jones' Diary I & II, the Harry Potter series, Code 46, Agent Cody Banks II, Love Actually, Bourne Ultimatum, to name just a few, as well as BBC dramas such as Spooks and Hustle, and the film The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

Video games[edit]

  • In the 2011 first-person shooter game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, British SAS commandos chase a hijacked underground train through the tunnel system from Canary Wharf, ending up at Westminster station. This mission entitled Mind the Gap caused controversy due to its similarities with the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London in which 3 explosions occurred on underground trains across London. The Jubilee Line is currently the only Underground (excluding DLR) line to run through Canary Wharf. This line also runs to Westminster however this section is entirely underground, whereas the mission 'Mind the Gap' includes some overground sections.
  • A level in Tomb Raider 3 is set in the disused Aldwych station.
  • The external architecture of many stations in central London are accurately rendered in The Getaway, including the surviving fragment of City Road station.
  • The internals of Holborn tube station is also used in the sequel, The Getaway: Black Monday.
  • A miniaturised version of the underground is featured in Midtown Madness 2.
  • The Underground features in the RPG Hellgate: London as an underground labyrinth in a demon-occupied London. The train stations are considered the only safe havens in the game, where the character can shop, stockpile on supplies, upgrade equipment, seek healing by a medic, gather information, and receive/complete quests.
  • The level "Underground Uprising" in The World Is Not Enough, where James Bond must rescue hostages and defuse a bomb.
  • Shadow Man features a level set in Down Street tube station where Jack the Ripper lives.

Art[edit]

The Great Bear by Simon Patterson in 1992 was a modified Tube Map. "Adapting the official map of the London Underground, Patterson has replaced the names of stations with philosophers, actors, politicians and other celebrated figures. The title The Great Bear refers to the constellation Ursa Major, a punning reference to Patterson's own arrangement of stars. Patterson playfully subverts our belief that maps and diagrams provide a reliable source of information. "I like disrupting something people take as read", he comments." (from the entry by the Tate Gallery)

Music[edit]

That's where you said you'd be mine " and the final verse follows with "At Finchley Central, ten long stations From Golders Green, change at Camden Town"

  • Madness' album cover for their second album "Absolutely" was taken outside "Chalk Farm" station. (Although very early test photo's were done outside "Camden Tube Station" but never used.)

Literature[edit]

Legends[edit]

There are reports of the London Underground being haunted. Some of the most famous ghost stories include Anne Naylor, who was murdered in 1758 and is said to haunt Farringdon Station. Her screams are said to be heard, by passengers, as the last train leaves.[1] Actor William Terriss, who was stabbed to death in 1897, is said to haunt Covent Garden tube station, although the last reported sighting was 1972.[2] Tube drivers report that the Kennington Loop on the Northern line is haunted. Bethnal Green tube station is another station believed to be haunted, and the screams of women and children can be heard from the stairwell and ticket hall. It is believed that this is because of the 173 people crushed to death in the stairway during World War II.[3] The now closed British Museum tube station was reputed to be haunted by the daughter of an Egyptian Pharaoh, Amen-Ra, which would appear and scream so loudly that the noise would carry down the tunnels to the adjourning Holborn tube station.[4]

Other[edit]

  • The Underground is featured the board games Scotland Yard, The London Game, Tubefun, and On the Underground, as well as in Thomas De la Rue's card game Lobo.
  • A parody game relating to the Underground is Mornington Crescent.
  • One Stop Short of Barking - Uncovering the London Underground - a humorous guide book to travelling on the London Underground includes popular cultural references, history and tube etiquette.
  • A less-advisable game is the Circle Line pub crawl, involving alighting at each station, visiting a pub, then travelling to the next.
  • A false facade hides Underground tracks from view at Leinster Gardens.
  • There is a Guinness World Record for visiting all London Underground stations in the shortest time, informally known as the Tube Challenge.
  • In the web series Eddsworld episode, "Zombeh Nation", the main characters must battle a hoard of zombies in an Underground station.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ghost-story.co.uk/stories/londonundergoundghostsfarringdonstation.html
  2. ^ http://www.ghost-story.co.uk/stories/londonundergoundghostscoventgardenstation.html
  3. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/09/a795909.shtml
  4. ^ http://www.ghost-story.co.uk/stories/londonundergoundghostsbritishmuseumstation.html

External links[edit]